Make Chicken Satay at Home

Grilled chicken satay in a peanut sauce.
Satay is a Southeast Asian dish with similarities to shish kebab that traces its origins to Indonesia. Often sold as street food, it’s characterized by meat or tofu that is seasoned and skewered, then grilled. While versions can made from beef, pork, mutton, fish or various other main ingredients, chicken satay with a peanut sauce is a staple of Thai restaurants. With a few tips, anyone interested in learning to cook can prepare this takeout favorite at home.

1. Mix a flavorful marinade
To ensure your skewered chicken is packed with flavor, give it some time in a marinade. You can adjust the contents to suit your tastes, but Serious Eats recommended blending together turmeric, fish sauce, Sriracha, soy sauce, lemongrass, olive oil, lime juice, garlic and coriander. The tasty version from Damn Delicious, on the other hand, consists of coconut milk, garlic, curry powder, ginger, brown sugar  and lemongrass.

“Pack your skewered chicken with flavor from a marinade.”

Cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts into pieces of about half an inch. Place the poultry in a resealable plastic bag with the marinade and set the mixture in the refrigerator. After an hour or two, the chicken will be ready to cook.

2, Prepare the perfect peanut sauce
While the chicken marinates, you can throw together a tasty peanut sauce. Emeril Lagasse’s directions start with bringing together cilantro, jalapeno, green onion, ginger and garlic in a food processor. Add sesame oil and a smooth peanut butter to the mix before processing again. Next comes the lime juice and fish sauce. Finally, process in honey, coconut milk and hoisin sauce.

For something a little different, you can try including a little fruit as in the peanut-chutney sauce suggested by PBS. This recipe features mango chutney as well as peanut butter, plus soy sauce, lime juice, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and water. You can even make extra and keep it in the refrigerator for up to a week to be used with other grilled meats or as a dipping sauce.

3. Watch the grill
Soak wooden or bamboo skewers in water to keep them from burning and then load them with chicken. Oil the grilling grate and bring the temperature to medium-high. According to the Food Network, it should take three or four minutes on each side to cook the chicken. When it’s finished, set the skewers aside to rest for five minutes before serving with the peanut sauce.

If you would rather do your cooking indoors, you can also make chicken satay in the oven. The Londoner’s recipe relies on a broiler set to medium-high. Place a rack over a baking tray and set the skewers on top. Cook for about 10 minutes, watching for the chicken to brown. Then, flip the skewers and cook for another 10 minutes.

Chicken satay can make make a great appetizer, party-time snack or dinner. If you’re learning cooking basics, this dish is great opportunity to find ways to customize the marinade and sauce with plenty of spices and fresh ingredients.

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